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U.S. diplomats will resume limited activities in Ukraine, based out of the western city of Lviv, with the goal of returning to Kyiv within a month, Kristina Kvien, the U.S. chargé d’affaires for Ukraine, announced Monday.

Kvien said she and U.S. Embassy personnel will continue making day trips from neighboring Poland to Lviv for the next week or two and, depending on security conditions, plan to extend those trips to Kyiv, the capital. The goal, she said, is to eventually reestablish a “long-term permanent presence” in Kyiv, where several foreign diplomatic missions already have reopened.

“When they tell us we can go back, we go back,” Kvien said of security updates, speaking in front of the sandbagged walls of the city hall in Lviv.

Lviv will serve as a base for U.S. personnel to meet with Ukrainian officials, civil society groups and humanitarian agencies, as well as to perform basic consular work to assist U.S. citizens. For now, that work is not expected to include visa processing related to the Biden administration’s pledge to admit up to 100,000 people fleeing Ukraine.

In mid-February, just before the Russian invasion, the State Department temporarily moved operations to Lviv, with U.S. personnel commuting from Poland. Although Lviv has come under sporadic attack, its relative calm has made it a hub for United Nations staff, aid groups and Western diplomats who deemed the capital too risky.

At the time, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky criticized the move as “a big mistake,” saying it sent the wrong message to Russia about Western support for Kyiv.

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